At last I've got my pc back up and running and can post a big thanks yet again to Wayne and Andy for a great weekend.
No photos I'm afraid as we forgot to take any ! I'm sure the ever helpful Max was very disappointed.
Giles and myself set off early last Saturday morning for Andy's place , after leaving a rather grey and wet Devon (I know that's very unusual LOL)
Lighter and brighter skies were with us upon arrival , with the rather short daylight hours available at the moment we set off for the fallow ground where our intended quarry would hopefully oblige us with a shot or two.
Giles and Andy had travelled ahead of Wayne and I and when we met up at the higher ground they had already spotted a herd out and running around , great start and good to see.
As we had been here before plans were made so that we each had a high seat and knew exactly what and where we could shoot. We wished each other luck and made off for our respective seats, Wayne walked me part way to my seat and on the way we saw the 9 strong herd spotted earlier moving away from us but heading in the direction Giles , fingers crossed for him at this point.
With the cold wind and drop in temp that accompanies the suns departure I was very glad to be in an enclosed tower/box ! Wayne had earlier been told upon our arrival by the farm manager that a fallow fawn had been caught in a fence , the manager had released it and left it to see if it recovered of its own accord. Unfortunately from my position in the tower I spied movement down the hedge line, it was the poor beast and it very occasionally moved but alas I could see as time went on that it was in distress and in need of humane dispatch. Out of the tower and a short stalk from downwind brought me up behind it, now came a short dilemma knife or bullet ?
I have performed both over the years and both are quick if correctly done , the animal had seen me and was not going anywhere , it was a fawn so no antlers and not overly strong and with no noise / disturbance from the knife it would not affect the other stalkers possibility of success , it was just at the light level that deer so often tend to venture out of cover. As if hearing my thoughts it lifted its head looked at me through eyes that were saying just do it please. Bang and she was gone.
A slow walk back to Wayne and after all others returned and discussed the evening nothing else was seen but mark , slots and racks were evident everywhere which made us hopeful for the mornings outing . We then set off for Wayne's house and a Chinese meal
Banter and chatter soon passed the evening , with us back at Andy's place the alarm was set for 5.30am with an arrangement that Andy would pick us up at 6.10am. Lets just say a big thanks to Stuart for picking us at 6.30am and saving the day !! Andy feel free to jump in here
Although his Mazda truck should be called the USS Enterprise, as it must travel at light speed ! the reason being he arrived at the stalking ground just after us despite leaving a while after us....
With an extra hand in the morning Stuart was positioned for any deer that we moved through the woods towards him. Giles and Andy were on foot stalking a separate patch of woodland but would wait in a high seat for us to walk some wood towards them on our way back.
No more than a 100yards from our vehicle Wayne and max changed up a gear when we bumped two fallow at first light in a wooded cleave, sticks were open and rifle resting on them. I was possibly a bit slow in picking up the animals but when I did there was a fair amount of undergrowth in the way. Seconds later they were gone. Working towards a treeline we spotted fallow running a fence line in the distance. With some fancy stop starting and ducking and diving Wayne got me into a fantastic position below the animals and when they came over the skyline and into a safe shootable position I picked a beast that stood for little too long in one place and let the 150grain bt loose. Immediately it dropped with a solid smack noise coming back to us ! I knew that I must have pulled the shot as animals normally only drop like this to a spine shot we watched the other fallow disappear and went to check on her , yep as I thought pulled it for a very high shoulder shot , s**t.
We carried on through the woods with Max occasionally lifting his head and scenting hard but alas we never saw any more animals but plenty of mark and sign that beasts were regularly here. Meeting a frozen Stuart on top of the hill we positioned ourselves to move the last piece of wood towards were Andy and Giles had seated themselves. Nearing the last yards of cover Wayne has a call from Stuart saying three fallow had broken cover and were milling around in a stubble turnip field behind us. With Wayne pushing Andy to hurry up , another plan was quickly made and off we went.
Walking into the turnip field we didn't see any sign of the fallow ourselves but Max could smell them in a wood just below us , amazing dog that Max. True to form as soon as we got into position for a possible shot at the as yet unseen deer no sooner had Wayne peered over the lip the deer must have seen the movement and were off , no matter how quick we were in trying to get in front it was to no avail we eventually watched them jump fence after fence with ease until over the horizon they went.
All gathered up we found out that Giles had taken a fallow pricket that we didn't even hear a shot despite not being more than 500 yards away at any time. All picked up and ready to leave we headed off once again to Wayne's place for a fantastic fry up courtesy of his wife Chris, many thanks.
Always a pleasure to see you guys and saying thanks is just not enough really so thanks and thanks very much again.
I doubt Andy will be able (allowed ) to forget it for a while.
Cant wait to get you all down here for a get together , you too Stu.